Why grey is the new black

United Arab Emirates, February 3, 2018

There was a time when I lived in black - I would literally wear it from head to toe. It made things so much easier - everything mixed and matched (though there are different shades of black and wearing a dull black with a more saturated brighter black can actually be a mismatch). Of late, my love for black seems to have 'paled' down considerably, and replaced by grey. Grey is my new black.

There are literally 50 shades of grey in my wardrobe - from dove to charcoal.

It makes sense that grey has become my go-to neutral - it's more heat-friendly than black to start with. And grey matches with most colours - be it another neutral like navy or a fashion colour, such as Pantone's current colour of the year, ultra violet. Also, it does not stand out as much as black, thereby giving you a softer and more elegant look. And while yaou may not read about this colour on the trend pages of fashion magazines, a shade of grey called Harbor Mist features on Pantone's colour list for 2018. Having had an early peek into the spring collections of some brands, I can say - be it Cos or Etro - there are lots of grey to be found.

There are many reasons for grey becoming the new neutral. Firstly, the whole athleisure trend, that has been around for at least four years, does not seem to be going anywhere, and grey is a colour that comes to mind when you think of tracks and T-shirts. And if you thought grey was a colour that represents being drab and dull, think again. It has even received a royal stamp of approval. Meghan Markle, the soon-to-be Duchess of Sussex, recently made a public appearance wearing a long grey coat by one of her favourite Canadian labels, Smythe, and complemented it with a grey scarf from British high street brand, Jigsaw. The rest of her look was black, but these two staples (the scarf and the coat) helped the look stand out. While it had the elegance you would expect from a member of the royal family, the look was still young and fresh.

If you look into the archives of collections of designer labels that are known for their classic and quality-driven takes on fashion, like New York's Calvin Klein and Milan's Giorgio Armani, you'd notice they have always believed in the power of grey. It's a colour that can add simplicity and works as an anchor. For instance, if you team grey with a bright yellow gold, suddenly the shine of gold goes from being glitzy and brash to grand and sophisticated. Or if you team it up with bubblegum pink, it adds softness to this vibrant and bold colour. In fact, if there is a colour that is having a fashion moment, as vibrant orchid is now, and you feel it is just too much, try mixing it with a neutral grey shade. It will make the colour more palatable. So, when it comes to fashion you don't have to be black and white, live in the grey - it is far more chic.